Trump Associates Collect Thousands Of Dollars From Those Seeking Pardons
Allies and associates of impeached President Donald Trump have reportedly collected tens of thousands of dollars worth of fees from wealthy felons seeking pardons from the White House.
Pardons and commutations are usually given as a means of showing mercy to deserving recipients, however Trump has previously used many of these as rewards for his personal and political allies.
This lobbying for clemency has reportedly intensified as it became apparent that Trump had no chance of succesfully overturning his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
This is as per a report from The New York Times, which found that Trump’s former lawyer John M. Dowd had marketed himself to convicted felons as an individual who can secure pardons on account of his close relationship with the president.
Dowd has reportedly accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of fees from a rich felon, advising him and other potential clients to leverage Trump’s grievances regarding the criminal justice system.
Lobbyist and former federal prosecutor Brett Tolman, who worked as an advisor to the White House in the field of pardons and commutations, has also monetised his clemency work.
Tolman is said to have collected tens of thousands of dollars – and potentially more – over the course of recent weeks, lobbying the White House for clemency on behalf of a former Arkansas senator’s son, the founder of online drug marketplace Silk Road, and a Manhattan socialite who pleaded guilty to fraud.
As reported by The New York Times, a onetime Trump campaign adviser was paid $50,000 to help seek clemency for former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who had been convicted of illegally disclosing classified information, agreeing to a $50,000 bonus if this pardon was granted by the president.
In a separate matter, Kiriakou was reportedly told that President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, would be able to help secure him a pardon for $2 million.
Kiriakou rejected this offer. However, an associate – concerned that Giuliani was potentially illegally selling pardons – alerted the FBI. Giuliani has since challenged this assertion.
Margaret Love, who worked as the United States pardon attorney for the Justice Department’s clemency process between the years 1990 and 1997, told The New York Times:
This kind of off-books influence peddling, special-privilege system denies consideration to the hundreds of ordinary people who have obediently lined up as required by Justice Department rules, and is a basic violation of the longstanding effort to make this process at least look fair.
As reported by CNN, it’s expected that President Trump will issue a flurry of pardons during his final days of his office for close business associates, with many high-profile criminals now ramping up efforts to secure pardons before January 20.
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